This New York Times article by David F. Gallagher, outlines the shift from old media to blogs as a means of generating buzz for a new band. The article went on record as citing Warner as the first major label to ask an MP3 blogs to play its music in the form of downloadable MP3 files on the blog Music For Robots. It also provides a cautionary tale for blogs attempting to expand within the confines of a major label. Warner's attempted to circumvent any bad comments by posting several comments saying how their band, The Secret Machines, was "so cool." When Music For Robots got wind of this they turned apprehensive to future major label involvement, saying that Warner's had turned the blog into something as deplorable as an "AOL chatroom."
This article gives weight to the argument that it would be tough for blogs to retain their independent credibility once they are bedfellows with major labels (conflicts of interest, and downright manipulation by labels could arise). It complicates my argument that a blogs could truly work alongside labels without being crushed by the corporate steamroller. However, it does add weight to my point that MP3 blogs have become legitimized by labels as a viable venture in band promotion. Also , it reaffirms that record labels have now become middle men in the music industry. If new bands appealed directly to blogs, they could avoid the major label, and appeal directly to an audience--thus beginning their careers, like Vampire Weekend
In this article Andy Greenwald, examines the success of Vampire Weekend, a band for former Columbia University undergrads, who have recently and rapidly been thrust into the forefront of the music industry because of the blog buzz they incurred. Vampire Weekend appeared on the cover of the February 2008 issue of Spin Magazine, becoming the first band in Spin's history to achieve a cover before they have released an album. Admittedly, the band avoided sending their demos to traditional record labels, calling the very idea "ultimately fruitless" due to the industry's rigid thinking. Greenwald uses Vampire Weekend as the poster-child for the radical redefinition of 'success' in the era of the Blog. The band utilized this modern-grassroots venue to showcase their music, which with the internet, allowed for instantaneous dissemination.
This article highlights the growing displacement of traditional record labels by MP3 Blogs. Bands view the traditional route of label and broadcast radio play as obsolete, so much so that they choose to opt out of the process altogether. Bands directly appeal to these new gatekeepers who in turn appeal to their audience with a review to the benefit or detriment of that particular band. Also the idea of redefining success of bands is an important point to my claim that MP3 blogs have transformed the traditional music industry. The article states that no longer is selling CDs, selling out concerts, or in this case, even having a CD out is a means of defining success. Nowadays, success comes with generating blog buzz or appearing on a TV show that premiers to your demographic. Old media now plays catch up with internet, as opposed to the pulling strings, as it had done for decades.
Legal Outlook For Blogs--Revisited
This article was written by Urs Gasser, a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law school. In this article, Gasser examines the legal outlook for MP3 blogs and whether or not they are prime for litigation. To determine this, Gasser examines the economic significance detailing blogs' relatively small size, means of musical promotion, their 'niche' clientele, and the short-term availability of the linked files as viable legal defenses for MP3 Bloggers. Gasser also makes a Fair Use argument for both Blog uploaders and downloaders--citing that the non-comercial status of these blogs and their promotional effect don't have a negative impact on said markets. Gasser also acknowledges the role that record labels play in the survival of blogs--by intentionally leaking teasers and unreleased tracks.
This article sets up several premises of my paper. It establishes MP3 blogs as the new gate-keepers of the music industry, citing these blogs as the effective modes of instantaneous promotion. An important point is Gasser's mentioning that the record industry voluntarily leaks tracks to these blogs--snubbing the copyright law they have sued for in the past. This point reaffirms my claim that record-labels themselves have taken part in legitimizing MP3 blogs as a means of new media.
In this article, Betsy Schiffman of Wired Magazine, sets out to find out why MP3 Blogs have yet to be targeted by the RIAA, subsequently she declares that these blogs could be a "win-win" situation for all parties involved--including Google. An owner of a blog aggregator divulges that record companies contact them about promoting bands." The owner goes on to say that he performs this service free of charge; Schiffman declares that MP3 blogs are not a moneymaking operation. Many blogs run ads, but these only add up to 75 cents for each hour put into it. These ads come from Google's AdSense program. Google reportedly makes 1/3 ($1.45 billion) from AdSense in 2007 alone.
This article discredits the Guardian article's assertion that blog aggregators hurts the music industry. If labels are voluntarily seeking out these hubs in order to further their band's notoriety, than they can't be "killing music" because if these labels could avoid a middleman they probably would. Also why is the RIAA so laissez faire about MP3 blogs? Could it have something to with the fact that both sides are making money, emphasis on the record labels? They are getting free promo, while bloggers toil simply out of love. Also could the influence of Google, who has just as many lobbyists as the RIAA, carry a certain amount of clout in the RIAA's unwillingness to act?
In this article Miles Raymer of the Chicago Reader makes a claim that MP3 Blogs could be viable record labels. He establishes MP3 blogs as "curatorial" in function, performing the acts of a talent scout, and then offering the band an endorsement in the form of a good review. He makes a note of the reader's loyalty to and trust in the blogs he or she visits. Because blogs project a personality, it presents the illusion of a one-on-one friendship as opposed to the face-less record label. The blog takes on the role of friend instead of a stoic music pusher. It would only make sense, as he says, for these blogs to start signing and developing acts considering the strong brand loyalty and audience blogs would already have.
This article is a major point in my argument that blogs have transformed the music industry. Raymer points out that Blogs are poised to replace traditional labels, since Old Media has lost out due to the tight reigns of radio and the narrow thinking of many major labels. Blogs allow a direct appeal to the consumer under the guise of a helpful friend. It is only a natural transition for them to become the industry norm, superseding the traditional label. In a sense, these MP3 blogs would be acting like the all-encompasing labels of yesteryear such as Motown--finding the act, being the means of the publicity, and serving as A&R executives.
This book is a guide – as its title might suggest – to all things digital when it comes to music. It serves as not so much an analysis on copyright in the music industry as a whole, but rather as a set of legal and technical guidelines so that one may participate in the consumption and production of such music without infringing on copyrights. In other words, it describes for the reader all of the ins-and-outs of the digital music industry so that one may know where in the law his practices may reside.
Hill’s book has entire chapters devoted to the assessment of what is legal, what is not, and how to go about participating in said sanctioned musical practices. He identifies a list of acceptable file-sharing websites, and offers his own commentary on why others are forbidden, as well as why these are acceptable. The book begins with a basic introduction into the technologies and methods used in the digital realm and then goes deeper to list available services and to comment on the merits of various practices. His advice is clear and he condones no illegal activity, yet he makes clear why certain people might be motivated to circumvent copyright laws in terms of digital music. He further lists specific file types and programs that are used in these practices and he identifies useful software. He finishes the book with another broad chapter about the “Conscience of Digital Music” as a whole as well as his prediction of the future of the industry.
Hill’s technological knowledge is a key aspect of this book that has allowed me to delve deeply into the details of digital music production and sharing. He explains these issues in simple terms, while still conveying the complexity of their implications. In writing this final paper, the technological terms and details from this book will provide much-needed expertise in a field that I am not necessarily well-versed in. In my analysis of the acceptability of digital sampling, I must first know how the practice works and what techniques are involved; this book offers me this knowledge, which is key to reaching a conclusion in my final paper on what sampling is acceptable within copyright law.
tagged appropriation bootleg bootlegging burning copyright copyright_infringement digital_music digital_sampling downloading file-sharing grokster kazaa mix-cd mp3 music peer-to-peer piracy remixing ripping sampling sharing software song by minglet ...on 25-NOV-08
This essay describes what an MP3 blog is, and how record labels want to capitalize on the promotion that they provide while fighting file sharing at the same time. The essay discusses the types of copyright infringement and fair use and how they apply to MP3 blogs, as well as the factors that cause the court to view MP3 blogs more favorably than peer-to-peer networks. It discusses law suits against Napster and also by the RIAA against peer-to-peer users. The article explains what establishes liability for infringing use, and the different expansions of the Copyright Act which have been brought by copyright owners in addressing new technologies. It then discusses some of these acts and gives some examples of violators. The next section explains the defense used when copyright owners bring suits, which is fair use, and it lists and describes the four factors in deciding fair use on a case by case basis.
This essay incorporates basically every aspect of my research into why copyright holders are willing to waive certain copyright in cases such as MP3 blogs, while they continue to fight against much of new technology such as peer-to-peer services. It describes what MP3 blogs are and how they are used and different sites that can link to the unauthorized music. It shows what the copyright holder needs to look for in order to bring a suit against infringing users, and also explains how the user of the work can try to use fair use as a defense.
This article is written by Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA as a response to a speech by Consumer Electronics CEO Gary Shapiro in which Shapiro stated that downloading off the Web is neither illegal nor immoral. Sherman says that statement is wrong and misleading. Shapiro says that legal downloading from record companies and legitimate online music companies is fine but there is a problem with unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material, and sites Title 17 of the United States Code. Sherman writes that the fair use argument employed by Shapiro makes falsely seem as if copyright owners are against fair use, and that the fair use claim is unsupported when it comes to unauthorized use. Sherman argues against Shapiro's claim that downloading is different from taking a tangible property by writing that both owners have been deprived of something of value. Sherman refutes Shapiro's use of the first amendment and also says that companies are in fact aggressively pursuing a more flexible business model that does take advantage of new technology. Shapiro writes that the industry using technology and the internet is beside the point and that the real issue in what Shapiro is saying is that "digital stealing isn't really stealing" and the last thing we need is more polarizing rhetoric.
For my research on why copyright holders are willing to waive copyright in some instances such as MP3 blogs because the new technology has benefits in promotion, this article is a firm example of the view from the record labels about copyright law and internet uses. It is written by the president of the RIAA, Cary Sherman and gives an argument in favor of strong copyright law, and a rebuttal to a speech by the Consumer Electronics CEO Gary Shapiro in favor of weaker copyright law. It provides the viewpoint of the music industry about downloading, but it is interesting in that it does not mention anything about record companies such as Warner who at times chose to solicit certain independent blogs and will send the bloggers music with the hope that the blog will help promote the record label's artist for free.
This is a speech given by Gary Shapiro, the President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association about growing tension between copyright owners and new technology. Shapiro speaks about how new reproduction technology and transmission technology has increased the fears of the music and motion picture industries. He draws parallels to new technology in the past such as the VCR, and CD and cassette recording. Today with mass availability of copies of music and movies, the content community has used congress, courts, and the media to challenge new technologies. Shapiro says that he believes that hardware and software companies have an interest in working together to see more products, and that they can misuse source protection and DVD encryption to sell more products while limiting new technologies. Shapiro says that lawsuits have shut down file -sharing services, threaten peer-to-peer networks, challegenged as illegal devices which allow consumers to skip commercials, and has subpoenaed ISPs to identify downloading subscribers. Congress has introduced legislation that will require technology to be shaped by a government-mandated copy protection system. Shapiro comments on the language used by Hollywood and the music industry using words like "piracy" and "stealing" to describe downloading. Shapiro asserts that downloading is neither illegal nor immoral. He says that downloading is not taking away a copy of the product from someone, and in some cases helps promotion. His principles for policymakers to follow ask that a very high amount of evidence be found before restricting technology.
For my research on MP3 blogs and why copyright holders are willing to waive some of their copyrights and allow the blogs to post their music this speech shows a view which is far to the fair-use and weak copyright law. It is clear support for allowing the new technologies and the internet to be created and exist, and for there to be significant evidence of a negative effect on the copyright holder before the technology is restricted. The key line by Shapiro for my project is when he submits that downloading off the Web is neither illegal nor immoral. He sites fair use as being given on a case by case basis and that in many cases of downloading the use has "been shown to be neutral or beneficial to the copyright owners, and have either been tolerated or accepted as fair use." He also discusses how downloading can even lead to further sales, when people buy the whole CD from the song he or she heard on the internet.
Call#: Van Pelt Library HV6773 .H56 2006
Though this book is biased against internet file sharing, it provides a good background on some of the issues that arise when dealing with the topic. Hinduja provides a difference between file sharing and CD stealing that neither the detractors nor supporters of file sharing had thought to mention, perhaps because it is so obvious. Theft of digital property over the Internet is much easier and quicker than physical theft. He goes on to attempt to liken the two, claiming that the desire to innovate and develop creative works can be stifled if the rewards are less than anticipated, but there is a clear argument against this. That is, most artists struggle for years making absolutely no money before “making it,” and even then there is no guarantee of survival. These artists cannot anticipate that the returns will be high, because the likelihood of this to be the case is so low. It is in fact, these artists who struggle for years for no money who benefit from file sharing, as it enables them to share their work and develop a fan base without the stifling influence of a giant record label. Thus, for these artists, the same harmful peer-to-peer network that supposedly squelches the desire to innovate actually stimulates it. It provides the possibility that their work will be heard, which would otherwise be unlikely.
Though the author is against file sharing, he admits that digital intellectual property is characterized as a public good. Its utility is not decreased when the property is shared. It is also an “information good,” with a marginal cost of production of about zero. Though the author describes these factors as augmenting the attractiveness of the commodity, he informs the reader that because of the attractiveness, the music industry refused for years to embrace the format changes and introduce it into their business model. This seems at first to make little to no sense, until we consider the historical resistance to change in this industry.
Hinduja further describes the government’s general resistance to legislate on the matter of punishment for copyright infringement, suggesting that a reason for this is that most individuals lacked the capacity to violate the laws. This is no longer true, and perhaps the government should step in and make their position on the matter known. This potentially contradicts Lessig’s argument that the technology must develop before rules are made concerning its use.
This paper, from Communications of the ACM, studies the music industry’s response to piracy in terms of technological innovations with the potential for achieving a loyal, internet-based following. The article asks the following questions: “1) do record labels with greater exposure to piracy move faster to embrace technology?; 2) do these record labels invest in designing richer web sites and what features of web sites are viewed as more important? And 3) Which forms of music distribution are more prevalent?”
The study looked at 128 record labels, all of which appear in the Billboard magazine listings, between the summers of 1998 and 1999. The study first found that record labels exposed to piracy were quicker to create websites, an early embrace of technology. These websites also were more interactive than those of the late adopters. The authors of the paper suggest that labels exposed to high amounts of piracy did make concerted efforts in these early years to establish websites that would retain customers. As far as e-distribution of music went, many sights offered full-length low quality recordings of their songs in Real Audio format, a complementary form of music distribution that did not replace the need for MP3s or hard copies of CDs. While high-piracy labels favored this low fidelity e-distribution technique, it did little to diffuse the acceptance of the MP3 as a standard for consumers of the industry.
The paper ends with an optimistic paragraph: “If there is a silver lining in the battle between the music industry and MP3-based music piracy, it is that this particular open standard has pushed the key players to embrace technology…It remains to be seen if they can find a formula for adopting this new technology while maintaining their financial performance.” Three years later, it seems that iTunes and other legal download services have filled this niche, a fact that is promising both for the record companies and consumers.
In this article, the Boston Globe reporter talks to several bloggers and discusses what motivates audiobloggers otherwise known as MP3 bloggers to create sites and post songs. In these blogs, the author finds a song he or she wants to share, and posts it online as an MP3 file along with a commentary or review about the song so that readers can learn about the band and download and listen to the song if they choose. Bloggers will do this for free, as one blogger says "Selfishly, I get validation that people like my music taste... But I want people to find new music that they love." The music industry tends to leave blogs alone because they promote artists for free and are capable of creating "buzz" for an unknown artists and quickly establishing them among a loyal fan base. Litigation is expensive and MP3 blogs are small-scale and some labels have begun supplying blogs with music so there have not been many confrontations between record labels and bloggers. Some bloggers receive "cease and desist" letters from labels and although a code of conduct has not been written, there is a concept of ethical audioblogging. Songs are removed after being posted for typically around one or two weeks, no more than two tracks are posted from each album, and links to sites where readers can buy the albums are provided.
For my research on why copyright owners are willing to waive some of their copyright when it comes to MP3 blogs, this is a useful article in seeing a little bit of the motivation for both bloggers and record labels to coexist. It provides some commentary by the bloggers themselves as to why they put work into blogs and what makes it important for them to exist. It also discusses blog ethics which are part of the reason labels are not against MP3 blogs, and looks at one blogger's idea for a possible future move for the labels which could start their own blogs in order to promote their back catalogues. That provides an interesting comparison between a legal MP3 blog created by a label and an illegal MP3 blog which may have more credibility among the blogging community.
This is a New York Times article about how Warner Brothers Records became the first major record label to ask MP3 blogs to play its music. Robin Bechtel, vice president for new media at Warner Brothers and Reprise Records had the company contact MP3 blog websites and ask the bloggers to post and review songs by the band The Secret Machines. This is an interesting strategy for a major record label to pursue because most MP3 blogs post song files without permission from the copyright holder. According to Bechtel, Warner chose blogs which "were promoting music responsibly" by having permission to the downloadable songs and also linking to stores where the full albums could be bought. The label would benefit by gaining free promotion and establishing a little known artist. Out of at least eight MP3 blogs contacted by Warner, only one blog posted the track, after having it sent. Many bloggers only look to find new music and the Secret Machines were already being played on radio. Two other sites had already posted Secret Machines tracks before Warner had sent them and once several blogs have posted tracks, others are less likely.
The move backfired for Warner however because after the song was posted on the blog Music for Robots, several comments posted under different names were linked back to computers in the Warner offices. The indie rock song was also sent to a hip-hop blog, Cocaineblunts which was seen by the writer as proof of a disconnect between the major label and blog culture.
This article is central to my project which is to look at how copyright holders are now willing to waive their copyright in certain cases such as MP3 blogs while the RIAA continues to sue peer 2 peer software. Blogs have not upset labels because there is such a strong culture of unwritten rules and basically a code of conduct for bloggers. For example, songs are not left up for long periods of time, only a couple of tracks from an album are posted and links are included to stores where full albums can be bought, and bloggers will take down songs if asked by the copyright holder. In this article we see how a major label is realizing that in order to reach a large portion of album purchasers they need to promote their artists as independents by using the internet and particularly mp3 blogs to break new acts. However, the very reason why MP3 blogs have not particularly bothered the labels is also preventing the labels from being able to use the blogs as they wish.